Content that resonates with your audience is one of the keys to successful marketing. The social media team at the AARP put this Marketing 101 lesson to use recently with a campaign that turned (or banged) a few heads.
In early March, the organization took to social media to celebrate the 35th anniversary of “Master of Puppets,” the breakthrough album by heavy metal pioneers Metallica. Heavy metal music and retirement aren’t two topics you would think to belong together. However, the campaign shows the AARP recognizes that their target audience is beginning to shift.
A good portion of the Boomer demographic is well into, at, or nearing retirement age. This demo has been the primary target for many financial planners, but content that resonates with one end of the spectrum might not strike a chord with the other. And keep in mind the older segment of Gen-Xers who are reaching the age where your services are becoming more relevant.
It is important to keep your finger on the pulse of the consumers you want to target. Obviously, not all of your prospects are going to be Metallica fans, but the AARP campaign shows content you might never think of using can resonate with portions of your audience.
Perhaps the most important element to generational marketing is the overall needs and concerns shared by each generation. Use the following insights to guide your hand when reaching out to Boomers and Gen-Xers.
The Boomer generation is facing a number of retirement challenges. They are outliving previous generations of retirees and have a strong likelihood of experiencing a long-term care situation. On top of changes to resources like Social Security and Medicare, many have taken critical hits to retirement accounts with little time left to recoup those losses through traditional methods. To engage Boomers with your solutions to their retirement challenges, consider the following mediums:
- Blog posts
Gen-Xers are squeezed in by Boomers and Millennials and may even be caring for members of one or both generations in their own households. Many have a significant amount of consumer debt and unrealistic time horizons for retirement. They have concerns about outliving their money and may already be taking steps to save for retirement. That said, many could use the help of a financial advisor to do so. Gen-Xers are still active on Facebook but have been spending less time on the platform than Boomers. Video, case studies, email, and even direct mail can be effective ways to reach them.
It is important to remember that within every population segment, there will be variation. Not every marketing approach will work, which is why it is crucial to have an adaptive marketing strategy, even within target market segments. Just keep in mind the overall needs and concerns of each generation and work to address those accordingly. And it might not hurt to think outside of the box a little. It worked for the AARP.